Definition of welfare in English:



mass noun
  • 1The health, happiness, and fortunes of a person or group.

    ‘they don't give a damn about the welfare of their families’
    • ‘Its bosses say they are looking to reduce sugar and fat for the health and welfare of us all.’
    • ‘They should not only care for the welfare of the children, but should also have financial knowledge.’
    • ‘He has not been heard from since, and there are grave concerns for his safety and welfare.’
    • ‘He said that the health, safety and welfare of officers was always of concern.’
    • ‘Tributes are being paid to a North Yorkshire woman who was devoted to the protection and welfare of cats.’
    • ‘After a month or so a programme of home visits begins, and enquiries are made about the health and general welfare of each family.’
    • ‘He had no thought but for me, my welfare, my comfort, my safety, my happiness.’
    • ‘The confidentiality was agreed to protect the interests and welfare of the student.’
    • ‘He was found guilty of failing to ensure the health, safety and welfare of his employees.’
    • ‘All or most states already have laws to protect the health and welfare of animals.’
    • ‘This type of cost cutting threatens the health and welfare of local residents.’
    • ‘Our paramount concerns are for his and other patient's welfare and safety.’
    • ‘Their help and support over the past few months have made an immense difference to the welfare and happiness of our family.’
    • ‘It is your programme in writing for managing health, safety and welfare within your business.’
    • ‘If you are interested in animal welfare there are two young dogs urgently in need of homes.’
    • ‘Provision for the pupils' care, health, safety and welfare is very good.’
    • ‘It's total disregard for the financial and emotional welfare of everyone involved.’
    • ‘However, housing some birds would not be in their interest where health and welfare is concerned.’
    • ‘The agency said the decision was taken to ensure the children's safety and welfare.’
    • ‘We have been let down by people who should have been looking after Laura's health and welfare and we are all devastated.’
    • ‘We need to ensure that no one has to put the health and welfare of his or her family at risk in order to keep a job.’
    • ‘There's an interesting conference about animal welfare going on somewhere at the moment.’
    well-being, health, good health, happiness, comfort, security, safety, protection, prosperity, profit, good, success, fortune, good fortune, advantage, interest, prosperousness, successfulness
    View synonyms
  • 2Statutory procedure or social effort designed to promote the basic physical and material well-being of people in need.

    ‘the protection of rights to education, housing, and welfare’
    • ‘I am proud of our social welfare system and the safety net it provides for those who need it.’
    • ‘Firstly immigrants and refugees are not a drain on the NHS and the social welfare services.’
    • ‘Social welfare service employees and municipal inspectors are also on strike.’
    • ‘In part, this reflects the fact that such groups are benefiting from welfare privatisation.’
    • ‘Political involvement was the foundation of all social welfare and public service.’
    • ‘Mr. Rector has advocated devoting much more federal welfare money for promoting marriage.’
    • ‘In this argument charity is private benevolence and social welfare is public.’
    • ‘They also tend to spend more time on study and meditation and less on social affairs and community welfare programmes.’
    • ‘To be sure, every increase in wages and social welfare measures boosts demand.’
    • ‘Social welfare, designed to fill the gap where the family can no longer provide, hardly exists.’
    • ‘Statutory welfare agencies have also used the threat of criminalization to secure compliance to new social norms.’
    • ‘Health spending, welfare and aged care benefits are seen as the main culprits.’
    • ‘They want more spent on education, health and welfare and they want it now.’
    • ‘The youth criminal justice system is expanding into areas that child welfare services would once have intervened in.’
    • ‘On public sector privatisation and cuts in welfare benefits, Labour and the Tories are united.’
    • ‘In the six years since Labour came to power we have seen our public services and welfare system eroded almost into extinction.’
    • ‘Workers remembered the privatisations, sackings, and attacks on social security and welfare.’
    1. 2.1North American Financial support given to those who are unemployed or otherwise in need.
      ‘critics feared an increase in inequalities in the provision of welfare’
      • ‘A decade ago, some Chumash still relied on welfare and donated clothing.’
      • ‘Welfare benefits are being reduced and new provisions introduced to restrict access to welfare.’
      • ‘America, rightly or wrongly, spends a great deal on welfare.’
      • ‘We know that real jobs are a better guarantee of prosperity for the unemployed than welfare.’
      • ‘Dependency on welfare was growing and approaching the peak it would reach in 1995.’
      • ‘The Government wants to keep putting up taxes in order to support its welfare expenditure.’
      • ‘We must look behind these numbers to see if how families fare after leaving welfare.’
      • ‘What got me back was that I was on food stamps and welfare and I had a family to support.’
      • ‘First, cuts in welfare and other social programs have reduced government health insurance.’
      • ‘The workers are demanding an expansion and prompt payment of welfare benefits to the unemployed.’
      • ‘The implications for long-term funding of welfare and pensions is profound.’
      social security, benefit, state benefit, benefit payment, public assistance
      View synonyms


Middle English: from the adverb well + the verb fare.